33 Women Music Critics You Need to Read

Courtney Smith

Up until recently, Smith spent nearly a decade as the MTV’s manager of label relations and one of their music programmers, deciding which videos to broadcast. As much of a power player as she had been, she earns a place here not just for her freelance work here at Flavorpill and The Daily Swarm but also for her upcoming book, Record Collecting For Girls, where she provides a femme take on music debates and what guys’ own collections have to say about them, as well as her own advice on creating playlists and building a music library. Long overdue, we’d say.

Jaan Uhelszki

You should know her as a recurring talking head on VH1’s Behind the Music, but Uhelszki’s career has also included such notable highlights as being a Creem magazine co-founder and an editor during its ’70s heyday — as such, she was one of the first women to make her mark in the world of rock journalism. Nowadays you’ll find her as an editor at Relix. She’s also had bylines in Rolling Stone, Mojo, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Oh, and how could we neglect to mention that she holds the distinction of being “the only journalist to have ever performed in full makeup with Kiss”? Admit it — you’re jealous (we are).

Deena Weinstein

Proving that academia and heavy metal aren’t necessarily exclusive worlds, Weinstein (who also uses the alias “Deena Dasein”) has been writing since the early ’70s, as well as working as a professor at DePaul University. Along with books on sociology and Nietzsche, she’s written about Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, and Rush, as well as her specialty, head-banging music: See her 1991 tome Heavy Metal: A Cultural Sociology and her 2000 book Heavy Metal: The Music And Its Culture for proof. Along with the tons of chapters she’s written for anthologies and academic journals, she also has piles of clippings from newspapers and magazines across the country. On the scholarly tip, her classes cover rock, celebrity, and popular culture, including studies of Foucault, Shakespeare, Harry Potter, and drinking. If that doesn’t that make you wanna go back to school again, nothing will.